Tate Modern

Starr Cinema and AV Room

IPE Case Study

Starr Cinema

As the world’s most visited modern art museum, Tate Modern in London plays host to many important and influential exhibitions. In order to stay ahead of the game, the Tate sought to rejuvinate its aging Starr Auditorium with cutting-edge cinema and presentation technology. In the refurbished and renamed Starr Cinema, Tate Modern now has a state-of-the-art venue for multi-format films, live performances and multimedia presentations.

IDS. Star of the Show

IDS was chosen to unite the various technology platforms that constitute the Starr Cinema. IDS TS4 10.1" touchscreens provide a simple yet sophisticated interface for controlling the cinema’s lighting, screen masking and audio routing, as well as providing signage and local/remote CCTV monitoring.


IDS kit list


The Starr Cinema auditorium is set up to work in one of three modes.

  • Starr Cinema 4K DCP or pair of 35mm film projectors with full Dolby certified Atmos surround sound. Other non-cinema sources can also be displayed. IDS allows different screen masking and sound presets to be selected.
  • Presentation 4K projection with stage lighting and comprehensive sound. IDS controls the lighting and sound presets.
  • Live performance Stage lighting, 32-channel audio mixing.

Whatever the application, IDS always handles the lighting presets in the auditorium, Projection Room and AV Control Room.

The fully integrated IDS technical solution, being inherantly flexible, allows the system to be dynamically adapted and pre-configured for each individual application.

Simple solution in one. Integrate all facets.

The challenge was to integrate all the various facets of video, audio and lighting at Tate Modern’s Starr Cinema, while keeping things simple and intuitive from an operator’s point of view. IDS works seemlessly with the industry-standard equipment and communications protocols, providing an elegant touchscreen control interface that belies the complexity of the underlying infrastructure. At the system’s heart are an IDS Core server and an IDS SQ3 GPIO interface, connected to Tate Modern’s IDS VLAN. These interface with the Starr Cinema’s projectors, video & audio routing/mixing and lighting controls via IDS SQ-DMX units and GPIO signals.

A tabbed interface on IDS TS4 10.1" touchscreens allows operators in the Projection Room and AV Control Room to manage the the system as follows:

  • The House Lighting tab reflects the different lighting zones (stage, audience seating and walkway/aisles), all controllable via faders or preset levels. Cleaning staff have a dedicated master key switch to override all DMX lights.
  • The Control room and Projection room tab controls the DMX LED panel lights via touchscreen faders and presets.
  • The Stage Lighting Control tab manages the individual stage lighting bar lights. This currently consists of six fixed-position RGB LED lamps and two remote controllable PTZ RGB LED lamps. Operators can quickly save and recall up to four lighting presets.
  • The Screen Masking and Sound Modes tab manages the BSS Harman Blu-806 to allow specific speakers to be selected to suit different auditorium uses, and allows adjustment of screen masking to suit different display formats.
  • The Display Branding tab supplies shows the video clips and static/background imagery that can be displayed on the IDS Foyer screen. Operators can easily load new content via the IDS Content Manager.
  • The Production Timer tab provides controllable up and down timers, ensuring that presentations and performances run to schedule.

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